The Promise


By suzanna
February 28, 2011
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Last night I watched the final part of The Promise. I hadn’t seen the previous episodes.

Last night’s episode concluded with Erin, the female protagonist, returning the key of the house in Haifa from which her Grandfather’s Palestinian friends were evicted in the forties. The family, now living in Gaza, were experiencing their third eviction at the hand of the Israeli army / terrorists.

The drama clearly portrayed the nakba narrative, of how people and communities in Palestine were expelled from their homes and in some cases entire villages were emptied, their civilian inhabitants massacred by Jewish terrorists.

It was unusual to see a major TV production telling the story of the dispossed Palestinians and their struggle over decades of humiliation and occupation. The story was certainly not a hateful depiction of Israelis – much of it was made in Israel with Israeli and Palestinian actors. I understand that previous episodes contextualised the colonization of Palestine by European Jews and the establishment of Israel as part of the horrors of the Second World War and the cruelty inflicted on Europe’s Jews.

I also saw a story that recognised the Nakba. Of course the same old arguments will spin around and around – who said what, who did what? But the truth is that a large, vibrant Palestinian community existed in Palestine until it was evicted – ethnically cleansed to use modern parlance. The film appeared to suggest that it was time to recognise this and to afford the descendents of the original victims some justice. And to end the occupation.

COMMENTS

Joe Millis

Mon, 02/28/2011 - 17:25

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-3 points

Not a hateful depiction of Israelis? Are they all, therefore, middle class, white, cafe slurpers who live in palatial apartments? Are they all predisposed to betrayal? Are they all sado-masochists who wouldn't even help a victim of an epileptic fit?
See Jenni Frazer's blog for a far better description of this pile of cobblers.

And duvetwatch number three: Channel 4's The Promise. I have no doubt that my colleague Simon Round will eviscerate Peter Kosminsky's four-part programme both skilfully and delicately, but I have a few observations. Apart from the suggestion that all Israeli Jews live in palatial surroundings with swimming pools and four-star views, the generally hateful depiction of anyone on the Israeli or Jewish side compared with the near-angelic rendering of anyone on the Arab or Palestinian side, the fact that an 18-year-old with no discernable income can apparently fly business class with impunity... what about the other ludicrous nonsense? The wandering of a monoglot English teenager through Gaza City and no-one lifts an eyebrow? The coincidence stretched beyond belief as the teenager searches Hebron and Gaza for the descendants of a man called Mohammed? I mean, why shouldn't we have a programme where someone is searching for a grandson of a man called George, in Birmingham? Equally ridiculous. By the end, as the Israeli bulldozer approached, a la Rachel Corre, I was positively willing the Israelis to get rid of the wide-eyed Erin, and hang the consequences.
More troubling is that those who should know better are applauding this pile of old poo as groundbreaking drama which should win awards. As I said, a weekend for the duvet.


jose (not verified)

Mon, 02/28/2011 - 17:29

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-1 points

It is obviously a biased, probably even antisemitic depiction of history, a hateful fiction.


jose (not verified)

Mon, 02/28/2011 - 17:32

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0 points

By the way, does suzanna wants to know who created the 'Nakba', in the words of those who made it possible?

And when will their be a 'Promise' for the Balfour Declaration, a 'Promise' for the eviction of 1000000 Jews from Arab countries, whose riches were confiscated and represented much more than what 'Palestinians' left behind and that mostly does not exist today.


suzanna

Mon, 02/28/2011 - 17:36

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0 points

I wouldn't expect any one here to have any sympathy with the evicted Palestinians or to recognise the role European Jews played in their expulsion.

The fact remains that the director has made a piece of work that has and will be watched by millions. And the other side of the story, the story of the Nakba, is now recognised as valid. This is a remarkable turn around from even a decade ago when to support justice for the Palestinians was 'beyond the pale' Today support for the Palestinians is entering the mainstream.


suzanna

Mon, 02/28/2011 - 17:38

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0 points

1000000 ? what sort of number is that?

Along with your accusation of anti semetic it is nonsense.


mattpryor

Mon, 02/28/2011 - 17:46

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That is approximately the number of Jews that were booted out of their homes in Arab countries due to high levels of anti-Semitism and pogroms.

I don't know the exact number but it was certainly approaching that. Read "In Ishmael's House" by Martin Gilbert for more information.

Did "The Promise" not mention this teeny weeny fact then?


suzanna

Mon, 02/28/2011 - 17:54

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The Promise was about the founding of Israel and the consequences that had for the Palestinians who were living in Palestine. For obvious reasons the director can't include every 'teeny weeny' fact.

The director himself is a victim of a pogrom - or his parents were so I am sure he understands the significance of anti Semitism.

The Promise was not anti Semetic. It was a telling of the story form the perspective of the other victims.


Joe Millis

Mon, 02/28/2011 - 18:18

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1 point

Suggestions to the moderator: take away the edit function for postings (it's too easy for Jose/Yoni1 to abuse), introduce premoderation and do away with the points system. That way you won't have too much of a mess to clear up every morning.


Jenni Frazer

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 10:17

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1 point

Suzanna, what do you mean by writing "The director himself is a victim of a pogrom - or his parents were"?
Kosminsky was born in London. His grandfather was a Polish Jewish refugee, his grandmother came from Nazi Austria. It may be - though I have not seen Kosminsky claiming it - that his grandparents suffered from antisemitism. But please don't lightly fling around assertions such as "victim of a pogrom", which is a very specific thing.


Joe Millis

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 10:31

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-2 points

Many thanks, moderator, for disabling the comment function out of office hours. But as you can see: some people -- well one person, Jose/Yoni1, actually, is still abusing the edit function, deleting and then reposting his rants so that they are always on top. Might I suggest that your next move is to disable this function, then introduce premoderation and do away with the easily abused points system.


jose (not verified)

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 11:18

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-2 points

The only abuser here Milligramsam is you.
What do you dare calling a "rant", Milligramsam? Calling UNHRC a "farce"? Stating that one million Jews had to flee from Arab countries and more from other Muslim countries? Or saying that the truth is known from Arab leaders about the 'Palestinian' Nakba?

Tell us Milligramsam, show how great is your knowledge of the Middle East problems!


mattpryor

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 11:28

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-3 points

Give it a rest Millis.

Richard Millet has written a good piece about The Promise here:

http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/channel-4-is-not-promisin...


jose (not verified)

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 12:28

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-2 points

Actually, the only thing Kominsky suffers might be the Jew Flu...

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/news/the-jew-flu-the-strange-illness...


Anonymous

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 14:46

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